Cushing’s disease is caused by an overproduction of cortisol by the adrenal glands. It develops because of the presence of a tumor in one of the adrenal glands or in the pituitary gland in the brain. Early signs of Cushing’s disease include excessive thirst, urination and appetite. If your dog is diagnosed with this disease, you should discuss treatment options with your veterinarian. Because the disease is slowly progressive and treatment is life-long, therapy is not usually started until the signs are troublesome to the pet and/or the owner.
The mean life expectancy for a dog with an appropriately treated adrenal tumor is 36 months; for a pituitary tumor, it is 30 months but keep in mind that by definition “mean” indicates that some dogs live for longer and some live for shorter periods of time after diagnosis.